Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit?

There are so many delicious fruits and veggies on this planet to indulge in that it may make you stop and wonder, "can I give this delicious food to my dog?"

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Let's say you are enjoying your breakfast, for instance. You may have a couple of poached eggs, some turkey bacon fresh off the skillet, a crisp piece of avocado toast, a glass of orange juice, and a nice juicy grapefruit on your plate.

Grapefruit is a very popular, healthy treat among humans, as it is low in calories, high in vitamin A and vitamin C, and loaded with flavor and deliciousness. So if you too are crazy about grapefruit in particular, you may be wondering if it is safe for your pet, too.

So what about grapefruit? Is grapefruit harmful to dogs? Can dogs eat grapefruit?

Where does grapefruit come from?

According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, the grapefruit is a type of citrus fruit of the Rutaceae family and most likely originated in Barbados as a hybrid shaddock fruit. Grapefruit, also known as pomelo, is a very popular breakfast mainstay all around the world. The fruit is mostly grown in the United States, South Africa, Brazil, and Cyprus. Grapefruits are known as an excellent low calorie source of vitamin C and vitamin A, and for their distinct, bittersweet flavor and bright pink pulp.

Abstract red background with citrus-fruit of grapefruit slices. Close-up
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Can dogs eat grapefruit?

Not really. While the fruit of a grapefruit is technically edible for dogs, the skin and plant material, like the pulp, seeds, and rind, of the grapefruit can cause problems. This is due to the essential oils and psoralen present in the citrus that can be harmful to dogs. Thus, you should absolutely not give grapefruit skin to your dog. While the grapefruit itself may not be as toxic as the rind and pulp, the citric acid present in grapefruits can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. In addition, the seeds themselves can be very toxic and present a choking hazard to your friend. It is best to keep grapefruit away from your dog.

Does grapefruit have any health benefits for dogs?

There are many health benefits of grapefruits for humans. This includes high levels of vitamin A and vitamin C which helps support the immune system, eyes, and skin. Grapefruit is also very low in calories.

With dogs however, it is a whole different story. Your dog should be getting all of his vitamins and nutrients from his regular balanced diet, however if you wish to supplement your friend's health, grapefruit may not be the best choice. Look to other dog-friendly fruits and vegetables to give your furry friend a healthy, tasty treat!

Tips

When sharing any dog-friendly fruits and vegetables, be sure to do so in moderation. Fruits and veggies should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog's diet.

What are the concerns with feeding grapefruit to dogs?

The skin and plant material of a grapefruit can be very toxic to dogs. This is due to the essential oils and psoralen present within the seeds and the rind. You must be very careful to keep these parts of the grapefruit out of reach of your pet. In addition, the citric acid can cause upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea, which is not pleasant for either you or your pet. Grapefruit is mentioned on the ASPCA toxic foods list, so do not give this fruit to your pet.

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Conclusion

Grapefruit has many health benefits for humans, including being a great low calorie source of vitamin A and vitamin C, but this does not mean you should automatically give it to your furry friend. Grapefruit is not safe to give to your dog. The skin is loaded with essential oils that are toxic to dogs. In addition, the seeds themselves are toxic and can actually present a choking hazard to your little buddy. There are plenty of other dog-friendly human foods that you can share with your pal, so stick to eating grapefruit solo, and keep it far away from your doggo.